04-29-1865: Thomas Davis' Interrogation about Dr. Samuel Mudd and John Wilkes Booth.
National Archives Microfilm M-599.
Dr. Mudd, his farmhands Frank Washington and Thomas Davis, and his father's farmhand Electus (aka Alexis) Thomas, were arrested on April 24th, and brought to Washington's Old Carroll Prison. Following is an undated Statement by Thomas Davis, followed by a Question and Answer interrogation of Davis on April 29th.
Statement of Thomas Davis
I was born in Prince Georges County, Maryland. I have been living with Dr. Sam Mudd during this last year. I was there when these two men came, but did not see them, though I did the horses. The men were carried upstairs before I got up, and there they staid until late in the evening. I do not know at what time in the evening. I do not know at what time in the evening they left; but I know when I came home after sunset both of the horses were gone.
One of the horses was a small bay mare in excellent trim. with a piece of shin off on the inside of the left fore-leg about as big as a silver quarter. I do not know whether there was a scar on the head or not.
The other was a roan horse, a pretty maker with a large scar just back of the saddle.
I breakfasted and dined with the family, but the men did not come down when I was there.
As regards the object of the men's visit, Mrs. Mudd told me they were on their way to Washington, but that one of them had had his leg broken by falling down in Beantown and they had come to have the doctor set it.
The first part of that Saturday I was stripping tobacco raised last year, and in the afternoon I was preparing land. I stopped work just about sunset.
I went with Dr. Mudd the first week after New Years; but I have always lived in the neighborhood.
Dr. Mudd's father's is about three quarters of a mile from his place.
I just heard of the President's death on Sunday about 11 o'clock. A man by the name of Washington told me about it. Dr. Mudd told me nothing of it.
Dr. Mudd says he is a Union man, but I never heard him say much on the subject, as he generally talks about such matters with those whom he regards as being of his own quality. I as well as my father have always stood up for the Govt.
I just heard of the two men being suspected as the murderers on last Wednesday or Thursday when the doctor was arrested and carried to Bryantown.
An old gentleman by the name of Bess was the only person who took dinner with me on this Saturday. Dr. Mudd had had his dinner. Mrs. Mudd was at the table, and was talking about how much cotton it took to bind up a man's leg.
The room in which these men were taken upstairs was the doctor's office. I have never been upstairs but three times since I have been living with him, but I think there is a bed in that office. I sleep in the new part of the house.
In the evening at supper the doctor remarked that the setting of this man's leg didn't pay him for his trouble. The old man Bess spoke up and asked him if they didn't pay him anything. He said "Yes," but they only paid him $25. He was then asked if he knew who they were & he said he did not - they were strangers to him.
I fed the horses, & one of the black men took them out and curried them. That was between daybreak and sunrise.
I was at work when the men left, or about the time they are said to have left, behind a piece of pine woods which completely concealed the house from view.
The nearest neighbor of the doctor is Squire Gardiner, who lives about 400 yards from him.
Beantown is in a westerly direction from the doctor's, about 2 ½ miles. Parson Wilmer's is I think in a southeasterly direction.
I judge these parties went down through a large swamp as the track of the horses can be traced in that direction.
The road or track comes out into the road leading to Bryantown, to Port Tobacco, and to Piney Church.
Carroll Prison, April 29th, 1865
Thomas Davis (Examined by Colonel Jno. A. Foster)
Q. Where do you live?
A. At Doctor Samuel Mudd's, five miles from Bryantown.
Q. Who lives in the house with him?
A. No other white man but himself.
Q. His wife?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Who else?
A. No other white man stops there.
Q. No other white man?
A. No, sir. He has four children; the oldest I suppose is about six or seven years of age.
Q. What servants are there?
A. Frank Washington, his wife, and their children (colored).
Q. That is all?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. On Saturday, the 15th of this month, do you remember two men coming here?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What time did they come?
A. About four or five o'clock in the morning as near as I can recollect.
Q. Where were you when they first drove up?
A. In bed.
Q. Did they knock or call?
A. They knocked at the door. I did not hear them knock. I heard the doctor knock at the kitchen door to wake Frank Washington to take the horses. I got up in a few minutes and went around to the stable.
Q. What kind of horses were they?
A. One was a roan horse, medium size; a mark about the saddle where he had been hurt; his shoulder was swelled right smart; mark was behind the saddle, an old sore; the swelling of the shoulder was fresh; swelled right smart; I cannot remember whether he had white stockings; or whether he had any mark upon his forehead; he was a light roan. The saddle was light, government blanket with a row of holes down it. The other was a small bay mare. The colored man told me he had a white star on his forehead; I did not notice. She was lame in her left front leg. She was very lame before taken out of the stable and taken to water about 10 or 11 o'clock.
Q. When did you see the man first?
A. I never saw them. They were both carried upstairs.
Q. What did the doctor say?
A. He said that one had fallen down and broken one of his legs, & that he had set it. He did not say anything about the other man; The other man was a small dark haired man. They left Saturday evening between four and five o'clock.
Q. Did not one go away first with the doctor?
A. Yes, sir. The doctor got out the bay horse about one o'clock.
Q. What direction did they go?
A. I do not know.
Q. How long were they gone?
A. I do not know what time they got back. When I came home from my work in the field all the horses had gone.
Q. Where were you in the afternoon?
A. Out in the field grubbing.
Q. Could you see the road from the field?
A. Yes, sir. The one leading to Bryantown.
Q. Did you not see them when they passed?
A. I did not.
Q. How was that?
A. I was not noticing towards the road. The road is half a mile off.
Q. The road was in plain sight from the field?
A. The doctor said they did not go that road. They went out through the gate where we were hauling wood, and went down through the swamp.
Q. Where does that go to?
A. It leads out into the road going to Bryantown or to Port Tobacco.
Q. How far are the bridges from your house?
A. I do not know. I was never there.
Q. How far do you suppose?
A. I suppose four or five miles. I have not been living there long. I have never been but once to Bryantown since I lived there.
Q. When did the soldiers come along to your place?
A. The first soldiers last Tuesday week.
Q. That is two days after they left?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. When they asked you about these men, what did you say?
A. They did not say anything to me about them.
Q. They asked the doctor in your presence?
A. Yes, sir. The doctor was sent for out in the field and went to the house.
Q. When the soldiers called you last Friday, what did you tell them?
A. I did not see the men, and described the horses.